February 4, 2023

Fresh Nuts

A Healthy, Delicious, and Fun Dessert

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I know the idea of serving fresh nuts at dinner may not sound very exciting because often when I mention it to someone, they give me a blank stare. But every time I serve fresh nuts to guests, they say, "Wow, what a fantastic idea!" Then they ask me, "Where do you buy fresh nuts?" So, let me tell you why serving fresh nuts at dinner is such a great idea, then I'll tell you how to serve them and where to buy them.

Serving nuts after the main dish as part of your dessert, or third course, as I like to call it, is a custom in France and Italy. I grew up eating nuts at dinner, and my mother-in-law in France still serves us nuts after almost every meal. Here are the benefits:

1 They're healthy. Nuts contain a wide variety of essential nutrients and therefore benefit your health. For example, one Brazil nut alone can contain your daily dose of selenium.

2 They are an easy addition to your meal, and you don't have to cook them.

3 Kids have so much fun cracking nuts- the experience will crack you up – I can’t resist.

4. When kids enjoy the experience around food, they are more interested in eating a wider variety of foods.

5 A few fresh nuts can add just the right finish to a meal to satisfy you completely and prevent late-night snacking after dinner.

6. Cracking nuts with your family offers the opportunity to bond and connect and can lead to an exciting conversation.

To serve nuts at dinner all you need to do is buy an assortment of nuts. You can find them at your grocery store when they're in season, which is in the fall and winter, or buy them online at a store like nuts.com. It is common to find a bag of mixed nuts containing hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts, all of which are delicious.

Then you'll need a nutcracker - or two, so more than one person can participate at a time. Serve the nuts after the main dish and before the fruit or another sweet dessert, and you’ll be delighted with this custom.

Sometimes a few nuts is all you need to satisfy that little itch at the end of the meal when you feel like you want a little something more to eat. The more satisfied you are with a meal, the less likely you will be to snack after dinner.

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Nuts also take time to crack, so you can't eat them too fast, which helps with portion control and eating just the right amount. Although I will warn you that the shells can fly around a bit, the small "mess" is worth the experience for your health and connection at the table.

Keep a bowl of nuts on your dinner table or in your kitchen so you won't forget this delicious idea. Click here to see how fun cracking nuts can be.

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